Michigan House Detective

A recent book by Fred Peterson titled Homes in the Heartland describes the evolution of the balloon-frame farmhouse in the upper Midwest. Peterson notes one characteristic of many, first generation farmhouses: an eclectic nature where they were built in stages with several additions.   When settlers arrived in the Midwest one of their first Read more…

What Style is it?

“What style is my house?” This is a common query from homeowners as they wonder how their home fits into the local architectural landscape. This is, however, a question that can be difficult to answer. Is a house a Victorian, Folk Victorian, National Folk, Vernacular, Queen Anne, Italianate, Second Empire Read more…

The Second Empire Style

Many 19th century building styles, including the Federal, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival and Italianate, were inspired by historic precedents and featured antique details such as lancet arches, brackets and classical architraves. Around the middle of the century, however, some Americans opted for a more “modern” style which emulated fashionable designs current in Read more…